Homage to His Holiness
Literary Genres › Praise | Tibetan Masters › Trulshik Rinpoche | Tibetan Masters › Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Courtesy of Terton Sogyal Trust
A Homage to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
by Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche
In your enlightened form, replete with the signs and marks of perfection,
You embody the wisdom, love and strength of all the omniscient buddhas and bodhisattvas.
You are the very form of compassion, the Lotus-Holder Padmapāṇi, in the guise of a saffron-clad monk.
Great leader and champion of world peace, only protector of the Tibetan people,
Omniscient lord of victorious ones, Tenzin Gyatso, to you I pay homage, my body, speech and mind filled with devotion!
Gentle and magnificent, holy lord Mañjuśrī, you forsake your form with
five knots of hair,
To appear as one who observes the monastic vows. Master of speech,
Whose teachings exactly suit the capacity of your disciples,
You are the great one, who shows us the excellent path.
As you manifest in our 'World of Endurance' in a perfect buddha form—
The play of the wisdom of abandoning and realization—
Oceans of scholars and siddhas, who uphold the traditions of sūtra and tantra,
Throng before you, eager and active to serve you.
All the great ones in the three realms of this world
Strive to look on your noble face, to hear your eloquent words;
In every continent your influence holds sway—
Victorious over all, you have no equal.
Seeing your form, such faith consumes us the hairs on our body rise,
Simply to hear your voice is enough to captivate our minds,
To think of you sows the seed of altruism within—
Who could ever be a second Lion of the Śākyas, if it were not you?
Having begun with these verses, I shall now turn to my main theme:
You are the representative of our compassionate guide, Lord Buddha; you are the magical display of Padmasambhava, the 'second buddha' of Orgyen; you are a guide to each and every being, and the gods as well. In the presence of the buddhas, endless and without limit, you took your pledge; now the force of your great waves of aspiration, through beginningless time, has ripened, and you are the great king who turns the wheel of Dharma.
Of a billion scholars and siddhas, you are their crown jewel, your vast enlightened activity the light of ten million suns, flooding the whole face of the earth. Great being, you are the crowning ornament of all samsara and nirvāṇa, a guide for all beings-gods and humans, all-knowing and all-seeing lord, Your Holiness the great Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in fact, to give your name in full: Jetsün Jampal Ngawang Lobzang Yeshé Tenzin Gyatso Sisum Wangyur Tsungpa Mepé Dé, a name that rings out everywhere, by renown and through reputation, from the very summit of the three realms of existence, and in all the ten directions.
When the lotus-like tongues of great bodhisattvas are incapable of recounting the real story of your inconceivable and secret life, how can an ordinary person like me, encumbered with all the fetters, ever be able to express it? It would be like trying to measure the sky by arm's lengths, or the ocean in handfuls.
So let us confine ourselves to what is common knowledge: Although you attained complete enlightenment as the Sugata 'Noble in Every Way', out of your great compassion for the infinity of beings, you manifested once again as the Brahmin 'Radiant Youth' in the noble land of India. Then, in a succession of marvellous rebirths, you took on countless lives as śrāvakas, pratyekabuddhas and bodhisattvas, and inconceivable ones as learned paṇḍitas and accomplished mahāsiddhas.
In Tibet the land of snows, you also took rebirth, just as the Buddha had prophesied. Ever since humans first populated this region, you have appeared there as kings, ministers, scholars and siddhas. Specifically, in your lives from Nyatri Tsenpo onwards, as the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, Dromtön Gyalwe Jungne, Ngadak Nyangtön, Guru Chökyi Wangchuk and others, you introduced the buddhas' precious teaching into the benighted land of Tibet, you established it there, and you ensured it would develop and spread.
In particular, you appeared as the succession of Dalai Lamas, beginning with the omniscient Gendün Drubpa, and including especially the omniscient 'Great Fifth' Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobzang Gyatso, whose strength of mind and compassion were unparalleled, and then the Thirteenth Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. He took rebirth at once, and now among all the Dalai Lamas, you are exceptional and unique. In this golden line of incarnations, up to and including the fourteenth, you have appeared continuously in the saffron robes of one who keeps the monastic discipline. You have dispelled the darkness of these degenerate times for countless beings, from Tibet and elsewhere, with the shining light of the teachings and in your role as a secular leader. And you have given them the very greatest gift of all: the opportunity to enjoy a sublime and luminous feast of Dharma, prosperity, happiness and well-being. As it is said:
Now, as the aspirations of all the buddhas combined,
You appear in an enlightened form, complete with all signs and marks of perfection;
When the golden thread of Buddha's teachings is so close to breaking,
You manifest once more, with the intention to maintain and continue it.
Just so, you are the embodiment of the wisdom, love and strength of the thousand buddhas, throughout the whole of space and all of time. In this period, when the golden thread of the precious Buddhist teachings is in danger of being broken, you have manifested intentionally out of your compassion in a rūpakāya form, replete with every sign and mark of perfection.
Time and its changes may have turned the Land of Snows into an uncivilized part of the world, and yet through your kindness and your compassion India, Nepal and the countries of the West, formerly lands devoid of the teachings, have been transformed into domains of Dharma, heralding in a second 'Age of Perfection'. Your great compassion brings all beings everywhere to a state of peace. For those who wear monastic robes and keep the three vows, you are their crowning ornament. And it is the whole world's good fortune, and that of each and every one of us, that you are here in all your magnificence, like Mount Meru resplendent at the centre of the universe.
Single-handedly you take upon yourself all the wondrous deeds of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Assuming the nine supreme styles of activity, a great exalted one, you possess learning, discipline and kindness in equal measure, and the skill and compassion to uphold, sustain and further the non-partisan teaching of Buddha, that is, the ten great pillars of doctrine and the eight great chariots of the lineages of practice. You have maintained them, and you do so now, and in this final era, an age of negativity such as this, when the great glut of faults of the five degenerations runs rampant, you take on the activity of a fearless and victorious warrior.
You strive to bring the happiness and well-being of lasting peace to this universe, and to restore all that is positive and virtuous to the teachings and beings, wherever you have students, and all over this world of ours. Without ever tiring, without ever ceasing, day and night, you continue your vast noble work.
All through this time, your extraordinary aspiration has grown ever more, and your kindness in travelling to India, land of the Āryas, has made it possible for you to journey to those 'borderlands' unvisited by previous Dalai Lamas and untouched by their teachings. In these countries, you have taken on students and so planted the seed of liberation and omniscience in countless minds. Even an offering of the billion-fold universe, filled with priceless jewels, would not suffice to repay such kindness!
Now today in France, under the protection of your compassion, a wealth of teachings can be enjoyed in centres following the Nyingma Old Translation school, the glorious Sakya order, the Kagyu tradition of the four transmissions, the great Gelukpa lineage, and others. In each of them, the particular views and practices of their own tradition are upheld, nurtured and spread. All these centres are united and, in real devotion, with the three kinds of faith, and as if with a single voice, they invite you. Your work for world peace, through the Dharma and through secular means, leaves you no spare time, and yet because of your great compassion, altruism and love, you promised you would come. And so for countless groups of faithful practitioners in France, your inconceivable kindness will produce a great rain of sacred Dharma.
The Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, received the nectar-like teachings of the Old Translation school from Tertön Lerab Lingpa, also known by the name of Sönam Gyalpo. His incarnation, recognized and enthroned by Dzongsar Khyentse Jamgön Chökyi Lodrö Rinpoche and known as Sogyal Rinpoche, has, together with his assistants, requested you ardently to visit his centre of Lerab Ling. Before your arrival, the monks of your monastery Pende Lekshe Ling, the Namgyal Monastery, headed by their abbot, will perform a drupchen of Phurba Yang Nying Pudri, which was a regular practice of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. At the conclusion, you will arrive and in all your kindness bestow a feast of Dharma that ripens and liberates.
At this critical time, when the five degenerations are on the rise, all those who have faith, whoever they may be, should remember the kindness of our unsurpassed teacher, the supreme sage, the great Siddhārtha. And particularly, now that the sacred Dharma has been introduced into so many countries previously untouched by the teachings, one thing is certain-it is entirely due to your kindness and your aspirations, you who are the display of the omniscient Padmapāṇi, you the lord among victorious ones, the great Vajradhara. Having been reminded of your acts of kindness like these, may we enjoy the inconceivable, inexpressible good fortune of looking on your noble face, which liberates on sight; and enjoying the feast of your teachings, which liberate upon hearing!
As the Buddha himself said:
All dharmas originate from a cause,
The Tathāgata has taught this cause.
That which brings the cause to cessation—
This too, has been taught by the great śrāmaṇa.
Commit not a single unwholesome action, Cultivate a wealth of virtue, To tame this mind of ours: This is the teaching of the Buddha.
By relying on the practice of such a sublime and sacred Dharma, may this sun of the Buddha's teachings shine on all the countries of the world, and sweep them in its all-embracing light! And may the minds of all sentient beings blossom, as they ripen and actualize the result of the precious bodhicitta of the Mahāyāna!
Please take great care that this comes to pass: Know us! Care for us! Be our guide!
With my hands together at my heart, I make this prayer.
As requested by the Dharma community of Lerab Ling, this was written by the one known as Dzarong Trulzhik Shatrul, the bewildered Chökyi Lodrö, who merely bears the outward appearance of a Buddhist monk, on the third day of the fourth month of the Iron Dragon year, 2127, two thousand five hundred and forty-four years after the parinirvāṇa of Lord Buddha.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey and Patrick Gaffney, 2000.
Literally, His Holiness's full name reads: 'Holy lord, gentle and magnificent one (Mañjuśrī), endowed with the power of speech, noble mind, primordial wisdom, holder of the teachings, ocean, with power over the three worlds, without equal.' Also, the second, third and fourth of the verses at the beginning of Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche's homage are framed around the syllables of His Holiness's name. ↩